Solving puzzles is one of the most important things to do in Paper Cut Mansion. Without decoding puzzle locks, you won’t even be able to leave the first room! The game uses clever ciphers to make their randomly-generated puzzles different every time, and once you understand how each cipher works you’ll be able to breeze through the Neocortex dimension.
When you first encounter a new lock type or cipher, it’s never as simple as it first seems. Most require at least two steps to decode, so it can be handy to have a pen and paper nearby just in case.
The Neocortex has several types of locks, and some are more intuitive than others.
Xylophone locks present you with five different notes. Opening the door requires playing the correct sequence, according to the cipher once you’ve found it.
Similar to bicycle locks, these require that you turn each wheel until the correct sequence of symbols is showing.
These locks are played like a slide puzzle, moving tiles into the only available slot. The cipher will show which positions on the grid need diamonds in order to proceed.
These padlocks have a central lever that can be moved up, down, left, and right. Do so in the correct sequence to open the lock.
If you’re using a mouse and keyboard, use the arrow keys to enter the inputs for a directional lock. WASD doesn’t work.
If the Gatekeeper on a floor requires a puzzle, it will take the form of this lock. Choosing from all the letters in the alphabet, place the correct sequence on the left page, then pull the tab at the top to submit your answer. If you’re correct, the Gatekeeper will let you pass to the next floor. If not, a ghost will spawn!
Searching the furniture in the Neocortex will eventually lead you to find a cipher. These can be pieces of paper or objects, and they contain the clues needed to unlock doors. If the Green Moth lands on a wall and starts making noises, that room contains a cipher! Best of all, the moth will indicate a cipher in the room even if you aren’t in the Neocortex.
The Green Moth also responds to hidden ghosts, and there’s no way to tell whether it’s reacting to a cipher or a ghost – be ready to run!
This poster for a band depicts three musicians, each playing a different instrument. Flip it over to see a sequence of instruments matching those of the band. From top to bottom, match each instrument with the letter or symbol associated with the band member playing it.
In the example pictured above, the poster serves as a cipher for the Xylophone lock. Since the sequence is Trumpet, Violin, Trumpet, Saxophone, the correct notes to play are F, A#, F, C.
The Maze cipher is usually associated with a Directional or Combination lock. It’s also one of the simplest to interpret. Simply note the order fo the arrows, from start to finish, and input the directions to the lock in the same order.
In the example pictured above, the correct sequence is Up, Right, Up, Left, Up. Be sure you aren’t reading the clue upside-down or sideways; always double-check that the N is right-side up!
The Drum cipher depicts four monsters, two on each of the flat sides, and all four have a symbol. Look at the side of the drum to see the monsters in procession from left to right.
Starting at the sun (shown above), note the order of the monsters from left to right. Refer to the flat sides of the drum to find which symbols are associated with each monster, and enter them in the same order.
When you find a newspaper clipping about the mansion, you’ll see several letters marked with different shapes. Turn the paper over to find the sequence of shapes to use, then enter the matching letters.
This keychain has a six-sided die with letters or symbols written on the sides. Rotate the die to see which symbol is on each side, and input them to the lock in numerical order.
Tic-Tac-Toe locks have their own distinct clues. They’re unmistakable as they depict a three-by-three grid. Set the lock so that the diamonds are on the same spots as shown on the cipher.
The Gatekeeper’s cipher always looks like a rectangular box. You’ll need to rotate it several times to get the information you need. First, flip it around and inspect the symbols on the back, above the skull. Note the order, then refer to the corresponding signs on the side panel, matching the symbols to the shapes.
Next, check the other side panel and match the shapes to the letters. Enter the letters in the order of their corresponding symbols at the Gatekeeper’s puzzle box.
In the example pictured above, the code is given as Moon, Star, Sun, Cloud. The left panel shows that this translates to Square, Diamond, Circle, Triangle, which in turn becomes LHGF according to the right panel.